Snow or Ice Extent - Graphing Tool

Sea Ice and Snow Cover Extent

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General

This tool generates bar graphs showing monthly extent of sea ice in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, or for the entire globe. Each graph includes the long-term average extent and the trend over the full period of record. The tool can also generate bar graphs of snow cover by month for the entire Northern Hemisphere or subregions within it. The bar graphs are interactive: you can zoom and pan on the image to examine different portions of the graph.

Where did the values for snow cover and ice extent come from?

Instruments on satellites measure the amount of light Earth reflects at various wavelengths to determine which areas have snow or ice at the surface. These areas are plotted on maps and the average total extent for each is computed and recorded in a database. Sea ice extent data are provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The Rutgers University Global Snow Laboratory (GSL) provides measurements of snow cover.